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Your Child’s Development: 12 months to 18 months

Hooray, you have successfully guided your baby’s development for their first year! By now, your baby is eating solid foods, crawling and exploring all throughout your home. Over the next 6 months you will see your baby develop quickly as well!

Developmental Milestone for your 12 Month to 18-Month-Old

  • They will begin to walk. Once they have mastered walking, they will inevitably begin to run! They will also start to climb furniture and stairs!
  • They learn to drink from a cup.
  • They can stack blocks independently.
  • They begin to point, nod, and use grunts to communicate or express their emotions.
  • They can say a few words.
  • They will begin scribbling with crayons or markers.
  • They will begin to have temper tantrums when they are told “no.”
  • They can follow very simple, one step, directions.
  • They may begin to have very specific food preferences.

As you will notice, babies develop at varying rates. Not every child will be walking by 12 months, or even 18 months. If you ever have any concerns or questions about your baby’s development reaching out to their pediatrician will always be the best help. It is very easy for parents to compare their baby’s development to a friend or a relative’s baby, but every baby develops on their own timeline. It is important to be reminded of this.

Activities for your 12 Month to 18-Month-Old

Now that your baby can move around on their own, they most likely are wanting to show their independence a little. They are testing their boundaries, and curious about how things work around the house. This means you have your hands full! Keeping them engaged in safe, and engaging activities will help to satisfy their curiosity. Here are some activities you can do with them to keep them busy:

  • Sensory activities: These types of activities are hands-on, and can get messy! At this age, they are interested in how things feel, they will enjoy activities like play-doh, water beads, and finger painting. Of course, you will need to supervise their play as they will probably try to stick everything in their mouths. These activities do not have to be messy, for example you can take a piece of paper and a squirt of paint and put them inside a Ziploc baggie. Let your baby rub the paint across the paper from the outside of the Ziploc bag, this will keep everything mess-free!
  • Pretend play: At this age, they are observing everything you do. You will notice them imitating various things you do around the house. They may pick up a toy phone and pretend to have a conversation like they have seen you do, or they may make pretend meals in their toy kitchen. Pretend play helps them learn to understand the world, and it also helps their social-emotional development.
  • Reading: Reading is so important. The more you read to them they better it will aid their speech development. In addition to helping their speech development, reading is a great way for you to bond with them. The time you spend reading with them helps them developing positive feelings about learning, as well.
  • Gross motor and fine motor activities: Gross motor activities are things that engage their arms, legs, and torso. This could be running, jumping, and learning to throw a ball. It is important that they spend a lot of time practicing these types of skills. Fine motor skills refer to the movement of their hands and fingers. Ways to develop these skills are coloring with crayons, and picking up blocks.

Throughout these 6 months of development, your child will learn a lot. Continuing to allow them to explore and move will help to support their development.